In the tradition of cultural commons between India and Pakistan, music has been a distinctly important part. From Gulam Ali to Abida Parveen; Reshma to Coke Studio. It is safe to say that Pakistani artists have continuously been a part of the Indian musical imagination and vice versa.
In this long tradition, a memorable break for the millennials comes in the form of Pakistani pop band JAL, which created a musical sensation among the youth .
Songs like Aadat (2004), Woh Lamhe (2004), Sajni (2008) seemed to have hit the nerve right and if our MP3 players and CD players could talk , they would recall the innumerable number of times the replay button was hit for ” Aadat” .
Khurram Mumtaz is the elder brother of lead vocalist Goher Mumtaz and a ‘behind the scene’ member of ‘JAL’. TheMagZone reached out to him to talk about their new release PARINDA and we are pretty excited over the response we got.
Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us something about your song- PARINDA, the central theme?
Parinda is a song about revitalising your spirits, liberating yourself from the things that hold you back. The song is about breaking free and not following the script that the world has written for you, in its spite, writing one for yourself.
Listen To Jal’s Latest Release Parinda Here
Was it difficult composing a song along the same line as your previous songs given the changing trend of music?
( laughs) When Goher thought of writing a song we knew that our next song is going to be different but ‘JAL’ style, you know, soothing and soft music with meaningful lyrics, something that we have been known for. Plus, the guitar has always been a constitutive part of JAL, three out of four of our band members play guitar. We play along with the line of Latin acoustic guitar and that we did not want to change. I believe, it’s better to do what you know you are good at.
HaHa, I totally agree with you on that. Moving on, JAL created a lot of sensation, especially between 2004-08, but after your last album Pyaas (2013), it seemed to have disappeared, what do you think is the reason behind this?
We did not “disappear”, in fact during this time we were busy with musical tours and concerts. We did concerts in Dubai, Bahrain, India to name a few. As far as the time gap between two albums is considered, it is also because an album generally contains seven to eight songs and it takes time to write the lyrics and compose them all.
Also, if the songs are high budget, the record labels (in Pakistan) are reluctant to promote you. Then there are the media, which can be promotive but the political turbulence of both the countries is on their priority lists. It’s because of reasons like these that we artists do not get to promote our talent.
Have you ever thought of releasing any album through Bollywood?
Right now our main focus is on releasing individual songs and not albums. Apart from that,the political and religious conflicts between both the countries have imposed a cultural ban which makes it difficult for us to promote ourselves here in India. We have ,although, worked with Indian record labels like Tips Music and Universal Music in the past.
Any changes in your promotional strategies then?
Of course, you see in the past few years the new emerging artists have had a very strong role of social media in showcasing their talent. A lot of interest for the content can be created through social media and interaction with the fans is easier. There are apps like SoundCloud, iTunes which have made uploading and promoting much easier . This is where music fans turn to find their genre of music. Marketing has also become cost-effective now, record labels are no more an essential part of the plan. So, yes, social media is going to be the real game changer this time.
What do you have coming up for your fans in the near future?
At present we have Parinda for our fans. We had always wanted to do a Sufi song, Udd Jana from our album Pyaas is one for example. By the end of this year, around September, we have 2-3 songs lined up.
So that was JAL for you guys, our musical crush from yester years, ready to resurface with a big ‘splash’ of JAL!! ☺
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